Don't Workout On An Empty Stomach. Here's The Reason Why.

Is Working Out On An Empty Stomach Safe?

As per fitness professionals, people should never exercise on an empty stomach, but at the same time you should not eat your food close to your training time, particularly if you are striving to lose weight.

Common people believe in the philosophy that working out on an empty stomach will make the body consume extra fat and change it into energy rather than the energy that is obtained from an energy drink or a meal before the exercise. Research, on the contrary, reveals the fact that working out on an empty stomach doesn’t provide any advantage and may really effect against your body’s health.

In the hope of being thin faster, some people work out on an empty stomach. Studies show that the body burns an equal quantity of fat regardless of whether you eat before or after the exercise.

Working out on an empty stomach causes your body to utilise protein as a source of energy. This reduces the amount of protein which is required to develop and repair muscles after exercise. Furthermore, burning fat for energy does not always imply a reduction in overall body fat.

Therefore, you not only feel tired, but with no energy to burn more fat, it strains your muscles. When working out on an empty stomach, about 10 percent of the total calories burnt are derived from protein that reduces the muscle in size.

While exercising, the blood sugar levels also fluctuate. Therefore, if the blood sugar levels fall, you may feel more tired, nauseous or heavy headed. Therefore having something light some time before exercising always works out to be more advantageous in the long run.

Research indicates that those who ate 45 grams of carbohydrates before their exercise ended up having less food throughout the day.

That Is Fine, But Then What Should I Eat And When?

Experts generally suggest  light food such as milkshake or oats before exercise. Those pushing themselves in order to build muscles are suggested to have protein shakes also.

List of Foods To Improve Your Athletic Performance. 

Following a balanced diet plan to improve your own athletic performance has its own advantages to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long term. 

Though the list of foods to be consumed may be comprehensive though not exhaustive. 

If you’re pressed for time before your exercise program, snacking on something light and vitalizing such as energy bar, peanut butter sandwich, fresh or dried fruits would be an ideal option. 

The option should be easily digestible and contain  carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  

A bowl of oats is excellent if you have two hours to digest. Ideally, with proper planning, you must have a balanced and proportionate meal at least 2-3 hours before your training.

Staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise by drinking water, sports drinks, or juice is also important as a part of the overall exercise plan. Smoothies and meal replacement drinks are additional options to help increase your fluid intake, though not mandatory.

If your work out lasts 90 minutes or less, get a quarter to half cup of water every twenty minutes during the exercise. 

If the sole objective of the exercise plan is to lose weight, then go for light and energy snacks first and then a well balanced meal after the exercise (with nutrients and vitamins and low in calorie).

What Foods Should I Consume Post Workout?

In any exercise plan, the  muscles are at work and therefore they need to recover after a workout. Certain foods can improve and speed up your recovery after a workout session.

Eating foods containing carbs, protein, and fiber between 30 minutes to 2 hours of finishing your workout can boost your immunity and also help in speeding up the recovery of an injury to the muscles, if any.

Foods containing vitamins C and D, Zinc, Calcium and other Nutrients are also beneficial in the case of post workout recovery.

Other healthy post workout recovery options include:

The Bottom Line

If you do work out on an empty stomach occasionally, don’t sweat it out, as it may not be best for strenuous or long workouts. Every human body has a different muscular structure and you are the best judge, so listen to your body and do what feels best for you.

The basic diet rules though, remain the the same. Proper hydration, a balanced diet, and living a healthy lifestyle in line with your best health interests. And remember to always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program in case you are under medication for comorbidities.